Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dwimmermount Town Procedures (Muntburg)

My current Dwimmermount campaign, as I have stated it on this blog, is exclusively focussing on the exploration of its tentpole megadungeon. The surface world merely serves as background; even its history is just a bag of clues to the dungeon (like how the red metal called areonite was used mostly by the Eld, who were great sorcerers, thus encountering something made of that is a sign that there might be magical traps around).

The base town of Muntburg is a place where characters go to sell their hard-earned loot and replenish their supplies of torches, helmets, and hirelings. In order to make these things expeditious yet interesting, we have been using some simple rules (namely that items were limited to a stock of 6 in the market per session and the Meatshields random henchmen generator), but they got boring soon. I wanted something that offered more player agency in the form of a simple mini-game.

Note: The numbers were written with Kazamaták és Kompániák in mind, which means it should work with S&W, LL, and the rest with no or minimal modification.

Player Roles
We've been using a variant of the player roles proposed by John Bell. They are determined in decreasing order of Charisma with the caveat that everyone should be Caller at least once. This has helped me immensely during the game (paying attention to every minute detail is very exhausting, especially coupled with the length of our monthly sessions), and we have seen quite a few different approaches to exploring Dwimmermount with each Caller. Here are the roles and their duties:
  • Caller (makes major group decisions)
  • Mapper (maps the party's progress in the dungeon)
  • Quartermaster (keeps track of loot)
  • Timekeeper (keeps track of time, and thus torches, lamp oil, etc.)
  • Sergeant (keeps track of marching order and combat positioning)
  • Note-taker (notes important stuff, NPCs, quests, etc.)
  • Chronicler (notes character deaths, memorable lines, major events, etc.)

Town Procedures
Players alternately take a single action in the order of player roles presented above. An action may either be (a) purchasing items, (b) hiring henchmen, (c) promoting henchmen, or (d) using a service.

Purchasing Items
The local market has limited supplies of items sought by adventurers. At once only a single one of the following item categories can be bought. After each purchase a d6 is rolled: on a 1, there is a shortage of the type of goods and no more can be bought during the current session. The item categories are the following:
  • Armour (shields only count if bought separately)
    • Helmet (can be sacrificed to negate a deadly blow)
    • Weapons
    • Ammunition (30 arrows, 20 bolts, 20 stones, or 5 silvered arrows)
    • Torches (sold in packs of 6)
    • Oil (lasts 24 turns as lamp oil; burns for 2d6 damage and 1d6 extra per round as flaming oil)
    • Holy Water (as flaming oil against undead and servants of Chaos)
    • Rope (50 feet)
    • Rations (sold in packs of 7; restores 1 lost hp if consumed during rest)

    Hiring Henchmen
    When attempting to hire, the player rolls 1d8+CHA on the following table (may take any row lower than the result, if requested). Each further "hire" attempts are cumulatively penalised by -1 globally (that is, the penalty applies to each party member).

    Players may spend some gold (representing buying drinks for the right people and getting out the word in general) to increase their chances: 10 gold grants you a d10, while 25 gold grants you a d12.

    Fees are multiplied by the hiring character's level and are expected to be paid per delve. Their alignment is determined randomly (unless specifically noted); demi-human henchmen receive +1 morale if led by one of their members.

    Note that henchmen do not receive shares of XP or treasure, but they do count as followers towards the character's maximum allowance based on Charisma.

    After each delve, all hirelings must make a morale check with -1 penalty per party member lost and +1 bonus per party member levelling up. Success indicates they may be hired again without an extra action; on a failure, however, they leave party.
    1 or lower - no hireling; you may not attempt another hiring action until the next session or levelling up (whichever comes sooner)
    2-4 - no hireling
    5 - torchbearer for 1 gold (HD 1d4; AC 9; +0 torch 1d6; ML 6)
    6 - light infantry for 3 gold (HD 1d6; AC 7; +0 spear 1d8; ML 7)
    7 - archer for 5 gold (HD 1d6; AC 7; +0 bow 1d6; ML 7)
    8 - heavy infantry for 5 gold (HD 1d6; AC 5; +0 spear 1d8; ML 8)
    9 - swordsman for 10 gold (HD 1d6; AC 4; +0 sword 1d6; ML 8)
    10 or higher - special

    Special Hirelings (d3)
    1 - a band of 1d3 dwarves for 20 gold each (HD 1d8; AC 4; +0 axe 1d6; ML 7; Lawful)
    2 - a single elf (HD 1d6; AC 7; +0 sword 1d6 or +0 bow 1d6; ML 7; Chaotic)
    3 - a company of 1d4 halflings (HD 1d6; AC 7; +0 sling 1d4; ML 6; Neutral)

    Alignment (d6)
    1-2 Lawful (+1 morale if master is Lawful; -2 if Chaotic)
    3-5 Neutral (+1 morale if master is Neutral; -1 else)
    6 Chaotic (+1 morale if master is Chaotic; -2 if Lawful)
    Promoting Henchmen
    After at least one delve and a successful morale check following it, a henchman can be promoted to retainer status. It requires the expenditure of 100 gold and a Reaction roll with +1 bonus for each delve the henchman has participated in so far:
    2 or lower - the henchman leaves the party immediately
    3-5 - no further promotion actions allowed
    6-8 - the henchman hesitates; +2 cumulative bonus to further promotion actions
    9-11 - the henchman is promoted to retainer status
    12 or higher - successful promotion and +1 permanent morale
    Retainers receive the following benefits:
    • They immediately advance to level 1 in a class of their master's choice. Demi-humans can only advance into demi-human classes.
    • Their attributes are rolled by their master upon promotion. Instead of rolling, any attribute may be set to 9 if requested.
    • They receive half a share of XP and treasure at the end of each delve.
    • They always repair their equipment after each delve, but replacement items must be bought by their master.
    • Upon their master's death, they may be promoted to PC status. If there were multiple retainers to a single character, the rest of them swears allegiance to the new PC immediately but they receive -1 permanent morale (also, there may be other adjustments based on alignment).
    Using a Service
    The following services are available:
    • silvering a weapon for 100 gp (any weapon with an edge can be silvered; lasts until the next maximum damage roll); there is a cumulative 1-in-6 chance after each such action that there is no more silver available in Muntburg for the remainder of the session
    • repairing a piece of equipment (removes all notches; costs one-third of the item's price per notch)


    1. I like those hireling rules in particular. I just started running Stonehell and we've decided to handle in town activities largely "off screen" too, so these are especially interesting for me to consider.

      1. Oh, Stonehell, that's a neat dungeon :)

        If you decide to use it in any way, feel free to speak your mind about it. I'm rather curious how others can use it (sadly, we probably can't test it until January).